Johnson & Johnson Museum Artifacts Drive

Do You Have a Piece of Johnson & Johnson History?

Since 1886, Johnson & Johnson has been part of the lives of generations of patients, families and communities throughout the world.   As we work to preserve our history through the restored Johnson & Johnson Museum, we welcome everyone to join us in this exciting historical project.

Museum interior
Interior of the Johnson & Johnson Museum before restoration.

We recognize that our history is a shared experience with the generations of people who have used our products or who have worked for the Company.  Johnson & Johnson and its operating companies have been part of people’s lives for more than a century, and many people still preserve artifacts and stories from Johnson & Johnson’s heritage that have been a part of their families as well.

So…do you have a piece of Johnson & Johnson history?  Here are some of the things we’re looking for:

1. Artifacts that belonged to our founders, Robert Wood Johnson, James Wood Johnson and Edward Mead Johnson.

Johnson Brothers
Robert Wood Johnson, James Wood Johnson and Edward Mead Johnson

2.  Photographs of our first building from 1886.  Our first building was the former Janeway & Carpender wallpaper factory (the smaller one on City Alley by the railroad depot, not the larger building on Water Street, to get very specific.)  We’ve only got this one partially obscured photo:

First JnJ Building
The first Johnson & Johnson building — it’s the building all the way on the right, with the number 422 written in pencil above it.

3.  Photos and old films of Johnson & Johnson and its employees at work from 1886 to the 1950s.

1980s Women Employees
Johnson & Johnson employees at work in the 1890s

4.  Artifacts and uniforms from our early employees.  Our early women employees wore distinctive striped uniforms and caps, many of the men wore coveralls, and early Johnson & Johnson employee ID badges were made from metal and enamel.

Examples of the distinctive striped uniforms worn by early Johnson & Johnson employees.

5.  Stories!  Have you or members of your family – or your ancestors – worked at Johnson & Johnson?  If so, we’d love to hear your stories!

JnJ Employees Circa
Johnson & Johnson employees circa 1900, all with stories to tell. Does your family have some of these stories?

6.  Our very first First Aid Kits from 1888.  Here’s what they looked like:

JnJ Emergency Case and General
The first commercial first aid kits from Johnson & Johnson, 1888.

7.  Stories, photos and artifacts from our historical Hungarian employees in New Brunswick.  Our hometown of New Brunswick, New Jersey was once home to one of the largest populations of Hungarian Americans in the United States, and many men and women from that community worked for Johnson & Johnson.  We would love to hear stories –or find artifacts, such as employee notices written in Hungarian — from anyone from that community who had ancestors or family members who worked at Johnson & Johnson long ago.

8.  A Zonweiss Clock!  Zonweiss, a tooth cream that was our first consumer product in 1886, had a unique promotional item:  a small clock that showed a woman brushing her teeth with Zonweiss.  Does anyone have a Zonweiss clock?

The top half of a Zonweiss ad from 1886

9.  Fred Kilmer’s microscope from the Johnson & Johnson Scientific Department.  The microscope that Johnson & Johnson Scientific Director Frederick Barnett Kilmer used in our labs was once part of our archives, but has been lost over time.  We still have his analytical balance, and would love to bring his microscope back to rejoin our collection.

10. A wooden Johnson & Johnson shipping crate.  Before the era of cardboard boxes, we shipped our products in wooden shipping crates with a Johnson & Johnson logo.  We are looking for a wooden Johnson & Johnson shipping crate for our archives and museum.

Shipping crate close up
A Johnson & Johnson shipping crate from 1921

11.  Personal artifacts from General Robert Wood Johnson, our chairman and CEO from 1932 to 1963, and the author of Our Credo.

General Robert Wood Johnson
General Robert Wood Johnson

You can download the PDF of this list at this link:

Johnson & Johnson Artifacts Drive Brochure

Here’s How to Participate:

If you have one of these Johnson & Johnson historical items or other rare artifacts and stories from Johnson & Johnson history, please email us at [email protected].  Please put the name of your item or the topic of your story in the subject line of the message, and please include a description of the item and any photos of it if you have them.  We won’t be able to follow up on every story or accept every item that is offered for donation or loan, but we will review everything based on exhibit and archival needs. The Johnson & Johnson Museum will look to recognize all accepted donations in some fashion in the Museum building and/or on our digital online Museum when it launches.

Please note that participants must be 18 years or older to donate, and more details will be provided to the folks who provide items or stories that are of further interest.